28 February 2011

Tikka Masala with Bajra Flatbread

This past Friday, my friend Natalie and I made some Indian food. And it was good. We spent a leisurely three hours in the kitchen, telling stories, chopping vegetables and snacking along the way, and then finally sat down at 10:30pm to eat our meal. (Hey, they totally eat dinner that late in other countries, ok?)

Our original plan was to make Chicken Tikka Masala (one of my favorites before going dairy-free), but we ended up doing a vegetarian version since I had veggies and beans, but not chicken, in my fridge. For the main dish, we combined and adapted four different Chicken Tikka Masala recipes that I found from googling "Chicken Tikka Masala". Sadly, I don't have a picture of the it, but we served the Tikka Masala over golden, buttery basmati rice.

Then, instead of the common Indian flatbread naan, which has gluten and yeast, we made bajra roti, a fried millet flour flatbread. I'd never had roti before, but it was so easy to make that it may become a staple for me.

You can add whatever spices or herbs that you want to the roti dough, Natalie added cilantro to ours. Then, after it was toasty, we drizzled ghee (clarified butter) and sprinkled sea salt on top. Seriously, what is better than fried bread with butter and salt?

It was one of those meals where you look at each other in gleeful awe after every bite and thank God for creating taste buds. Here's Natalie and her roommate, Syneva, cupping their bowls and staying true to their positions as the cutest people ever.

I completely intended to include the recipes for all this wonderfulness, but I feel like this post is getting kind of long. (Really, I'm just procrastinating because I still haven't written the recipes.) I will add them soon!

Bajra Roti (Millet Flatbread)
From Book of Yum
2 cups millet flour (I ground my own flour in a coffee grinder)
2 cups water
salt to taste
Optional: cilantro, diced (or whatever seasoning you prefer)

Bring water to boil in a saucepan and add flour, but don't mix it into the water. Lower heat to low and let simmer for two minutes. Then turn off heat and mix flour into hot water evenly. Remove dough to a heat resistant bowl and leave for ten minutes or until cool enough to handle. Add seasoning. Form into small balls and place in a bowl.
Take a ziploc bag or damp kitchen towel and roll out dough inside bag/cloth, with rolling pin on outside of bag/cloth. Peel the flattened dough from bag/cloth and place on a plate.
Heat cast iron skillet to medium and toast flatbread until it gets light brown spots. Turn it and toast the other side. Drizzle with melted ghee or coconut oil and sprinkle with sea salt.

Vegetable Tikka Masala
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman
  1. Saute ¼ – ½ cup chopped onion in 1 Tbsp coconut oil or ghee
  2. Once the onions are translucent and starting to brown, add ¼ tsp diced fresh ginger and 2-3 cloves crushed garlic
  3. Stir it together on medium heat so the oil picks up all those flavors
  4. Add 2 Tbsp garam masala, 1 tsp coriander, 1 tsp cumin and about 2 tsp sea salt (you may need more depending on your taste)
  5. Mix it up and let it thicken, then add 1 can diced tomatoes and 1 can tomato paste.
  6. dd in your chopped veggies ((I used cauliflower and cabbage. Zucchini would be really good too.) and cook on medium heat until the veggies start to cook through.
  7. Finally, add 1/2 can full fat coconut milk (you want the full fat kind so you get some of that nice thick cream that rises to the top, as well as liquid.)
  8. Let all those flavors simmer together for a little bit. Add some chopped fresh cilantro (to mix in and for garnish). Now you're ready to serve.
Serve the Tikka Masala over basmati rice. I made my rice like The Pioneer Woman, but used ghee, not butter. The turmeric rice was awesome. Creamy and a beautiful yellow color...a perfect match for the Tikka Masala.


  1. "Seriously, what is better than fried bread with butter and salt?" Nothing! ;)

  2. Mirn-da, I just found this blog, and it all looks divine! Post a recipe of the masala and roti soon. And for heaven's sakes, get yourself to a St. Louis kitchen for a "guest cook" post. :)

  3. I just found your blog through Annie P. Will you add the recipe for Chicken (or Veggie) Masala soon? My friend brought me spices from India and I'm dying to get a good recipe to use! :)

  4. Hey - are you familiar with Aarti Sequeira on the Food Network? She's a GF girl though not all her recipes are - but some are definitely GF. Just came across her recipe for naan. I linked your roti recipe on her site :)